Sea turns red as hundreds of whales are slaughtered in annual tradition

Around 800 whales are killed every year in this centuries-old tradition in Denmark

On 29 May, 145 pilot whales and seven white-sided dolphins were killed in Torshavn bay in Denmark’s Faroe Islands. But this was no one-off incident. Every summer, the waters that surround the Faroe Islands turn a horrific, deep red as the blood of hundreds of whales and dolphins spills into the sea. This gruesome bloodbath is just an ordinary, annual tradition of the culling of whales, referred to as Grindadráp by the local Danish community.

Every year about 800 whales are killed to provide meat and blubber that is part of the natural diet of the people of the Faroe Islands. Each whale provides communities with several hundred kilos of meat, that would otherwise have to be imported. It is a communal activity, and catches are shared by the locals largely without the exchange of cash.

Páll Nolsøe, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, told Metro UK, “Whaling is a natural part of Faroese life. It has long since been internationally recognised that pilot whale catches in the Faroe Islands are fully sustainable.”

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